Home' LAPTOP Magazine : October 2010 Contents 8
LAPTOP | October 2010
For licensing and reprints of LAPTOP content,
contact Wright's Media at (877) 652-5295.
A smart phone is easily the most versatile
device you could own. For me, it's a copilot,
recently providing turn-by-turn directions to
visit a friend's new home. It's also a workout
companion, streaming my favorite Pandora sta-
tions to keep me motivated. And it's a memory
maker, allowing me to capture (in HD) a recent
fashion show my children put on using the contents of Grandma's closet. And that's
only a fraction of what a smart phone can do.
This month's cover story will help you choose the right device, regardless of your
carrier of choice. In fact, some of these superphones are so good---complete with
1-GHz processors, 4G wireless connectivity, and 720p video recording---that you might
change providers to get the one you want. We'll break down our top picks and tell you
how much you should expect to pay with a minimum 450 voice minutes (p. 55).
If you want to gab (or text) without incurring hefty charges, you could always try
one of the 81 awesome free apps in our huge feature story (p. 66). In this roundup
you'll find everything from photo editing programs and social networking tools to free
games and must-have travel apps. We've got all the major platforms covered, too,
including Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.
You'll notice I didn't mention Windows Phone 7. That's because Microsoft's totally
revamped OS won't hit the market until later this fall. Having spent some hands-on
time with a prototype device, I'd say WP7 definitely has potential, especially when you
add in Xbox Live games. However, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft-exclusive
franchises like this will woo smart phone buyers away from Android and iPhone. Check
out our in-depth analysis starting on p. 90.
Our biggest complaint about smart phones is battery life. That's not a problem for the
latest laptops powered by Nvidia's Optimus technology, though (p. 32). These portables
automatically switch between Intel's power-sipping graphics and a discrete GPU based
on what you're doing. Still, Optimus-powered notebooks cost a pretty penny, so you'll
want to dig in to our test report to see which machines are worth the splurge.
When Apple announced the iPad, many pundits wondered if this tablet running
a smart phone OS would win over consumers. As it turns out, the company has
created a new device category that excels at media consumption, surfing the web,
and running thousands of apps designed explicitly for a larger display. But based
on our top 10 list of anticipated slates (p. 12) it looks as though Apple won't have
the market to itself for much longer. I don't expect these devices to make much of a
dent until next year, and Best Buy's vice president of computing agrees with me (see
p. 24) that a successful tablet will require an ecosystem of content and/or apps.
Will increasingly larger smart phones make tablets irrelevant? I doubt it. There's
plenty of room in the market for all different types of gadgets. Just look at the success
of Amazon's Kindle and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. These so-called unitaskers
are great for avid readers, and you'll find plenty of useful tips for both devices starting
on p. 96. Nothing compares to the versatility of a smart phone, but you won't find me
reading a novel on one.
Editor in Chief MARK SPOONAUER
Managing Editor ANNA ATTKISSON
Reviews Editor MICHAEL A. PROSPERO
Associate Editor THOMAS J. FINK
Senior Writer DANA WOLLMAN
Editorial Interns THOMAS BRIECHLE
Online Editorial Director AVRAM PILTCH
News Editor K.T. BRADFORD
Multimedia Editor MEGHAN J. McDONOUGH
Web Content Producer KENNETH BUTLER
Art Director JEFFREY W. SASS
Print & Web DOM RINALDI
Photo Editor MATT STAUSS
Director of Production &
Creative Services MARK MORTON
IT Manager MURAT TURK
Integrated Media MATT WEINER
Regional Sales Manager ARCHER MONTAGUE
Regional Sales Manager NANCY ROSCOE
Publisher & President EDWARD D. BROWN
irector of Finance &
Business Operations LISA BRISBANE
Director of Circulation MICHAEL GERARDO
Accounting Manager JIM CRUZ
Office Manager JEANNIE MITCHELL
Volume XXX, Issue #10, (S.C. 390) 2010 copyright.
LAPTOP (ISSN: 1089-036x) is published monthly (12 issues per year), plus 1 special
issue by Bedford Communications, Inc., 201 N. 3rd Street, Suite 126, Oregon, IL 61061.
Edward D. Brown, President.
Subscriptions are available for $14.99 per year ($30 for foreign subscriptions) for 12
issues from LAPTOP, P.O. Box 344, Oregon, IL 61061-0344; call (815) 732-5289 within
the U.S.; or call (877) 527-8655 from outside the U.S. Periodicals postage paid at
Oregon, IL and additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: please send address changes to LAPTOP, P.O. Box 344, Oregon, IL
Address all editorial correspondence to the editor at LAPTOP, c/o Bedford Communica-
tions, 1410 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10018 (212-807-8220). Unacceptable
manuscripts will be returned if accompanied by sufficient first-class postage. Bedford
Communications, Inc. is not responsible for lost manuscripts or photos.This publication
is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part by mimeograph or by
other means without permission of the publisher.
LAPTOP and Bedford Communications, Inc. have made every attempt to verify the
accuracy of product and pricing information obtained from manufacturers and/or their
agents appearing in this issue. However, Laptop and Bedford Communications, Inc. do
not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of said information.
Printed in U.S.A.
1410 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10018
(212) 807-8220; Fax (212) 807-1098
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Links Archive November 2010 September 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page